Saving Blue Lives
The Illinois Public Pension Fund Association (IPPFA) and Northern Illinois University have teamed up to develop a program to assist law enforcement leaders and rank-and-file officers in expanding their knowledge of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, as it effects police officers. This program, “Saving Blue Lives through Training on PTSD, Suicide, Resilience and Peer Support,” is offered at no cost to those attending.
First responders are routinely exposed to critical incidents involving exposure to injury or death in others, as well as the risk of injury or death to themselves. Research shows, and those in the profession intuitively know, that individual incidents and accumulated exposure can adversely affect the mental and physical health of those involved.
The NIU – IPPFA program will include:
- Learning the symptoms of PTSD
- Conditions that often arise with PTSD, such as depression and substance abuse
- Identifying ways to bolster resistance
- Suicide and conditions such as PTSD
- Methods for dealing with PTSD without the help of a mental health professional
- Effective treatments with the help of a mental health professional
NIU has received a grant from the Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority for a demonstration project. This allows NIU and the IPPFA to develop and sponsor two, two-day seminars on PTSD awareness and dealing with this condition. The seminars will be conducted by a qualified mental healthcare professional, along with the assistance of experienced sworn personnel with substantial careers in emergency response and investigations. If the initial program is successful, funding may be available for up to a three-year period of outreach on this vital topic. As we proceed, the program will be expanded to include fire/EMS.
The two-day seminars are scheduled for June 12th and 13th at the NIU Campus in Hoffman Estates, IL, and June 26th and 27th at the NIU Campus in Naperville, IL.